Is it Possible for Introverts to be Good Public Speakers?

by Jennifer Khanweiler, Ph. D.,

Being introverted does not mean you can’t also be a phenomenal speaker. Introverts often use their natural strength of preparation to sound smooth and clear in their message. And just like an actor that goes into character they often perform brilliantly in their roles. In fact, a large majority of actors and comedians are actually introverted in temperament. They rehearse and then step into character.

Making a presentation to two or twenty people is the way to educate, inform and influence others. Introverts know this is an important vehicle for imparting their message and gaining visibility in their organization. They agree with  Warren Buffet, who said that “public speaking can be our greatest asset or our worst liability.”

Often they will act “as if” they are confident, suave and sure of their message. Paul, an IT consultant I interviewed for The Introverted Leader shared that he imagined himself as James Bond when making presentations.  He even wore the right sunglasses and clothes to get himself into the role.

What are other techniques introverts use to excel at successful public speaking? They use visualization where they imagine a successful speech before it occurs. Others push themselves to speak up in meetings, to their boss and even on the grocery store line. They also pump themselves up by replacing negative self-talk with positive statements.

And after the presentation? A welcome retreat to solitude usually does the trick.

If you found these tips from Jennifer Kahnweiler, Ph.D. of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at PDUs2Go.com.

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